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Paid Search (PPC) Best Practices – Top 5 Tips

October 21, 2016
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Paid search (pay-per-click advertising) can be a very rewarding and oftentimes frustrating endeavor. Here at Power Digital, we try to make a good habit of being process-driven and following best practices to ensure that our PPC campaigns are managed as efficiently as possible and that we are staying on top of the one thing that is consistent in paid search…. You guessed it, change!

Here are just 5 PPC best practices we implement when it comes to running paid search campaigns:

Negative Keyword Lists

Negative keyword lists are an incredibly powerful tool for search marketers as these allow you to control when you are entered into an ad auction. Keyword lists should be utilized across the account as they control when campaigns and ad groups are submitted for specific use keyword queries. This could mean the difference between an okay search campaign and a great one!

Intent-Driven Campaign Structure

At the foundation of every great paid search account lies the overall structure. Beyond having a structure of campaigns, ad groups, and keywords that are consistent to your business goals, it’s crucial to implement an intent driven hierarchy.

There are there main types of search queries:

  • Navigational – Search performed to reach a particular website
  • Information – Search performed to gain information about a certain topic
  • Transactional – Search performed to purchase, download, etc.

The benefit to this type of structure is that you are more likely to ensure budgets are spent on people who are most interested in the product and are likely to buy or perform the desired conversion. Your ad groups should be organized into a similar fashion and all ad creative and keywords should align with these three queries.

Related: AdWords Agency Checklist

This can take some time to achieve but it certainly pays off. Your pay-per-click campaign will be much more successful if your messaging speaks directly to the position of the potential buyer in the decision making process.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are a key aspect of the search experience from a user perspective. An ad will perform much better if it is targeted to a page that includes content that supports the message in your ads. The more relevant the page to the ad, the more effective. A solid PPC strategy will experiment with certain keywords, ads, and landing page combinations to identify trends.

All aspects of the landing page need to be considered when driving search traffic. If you are testing against another version of a landing page, you should keep in mind that testing should occur simultaneously. It’s important that you launch tests sequentially against the control, otherwise it will be unclear which is more successful. You can use VWO’s statistical significance tester to see if your test was accurate.

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Look At Revenue Metrics

Examine down-funnel metrics like revenue per impression and revenue per conversion as this will help you craft better ad copy, find the offers that prospects want, and identify the content offers that searchers want to read about.

Related: Lead Generation Benchmarking – A Helpful Guide

The most important data you can report on with clients is revenue- and conversion-focused. In a perfect world we would just report return on investment (ROI) or profit per campaign and decision making would be easy. Metrics like conversion data tell you how effective your ads and landing pages are at generating leads, as well as how much your leads cost. But nothing tops actual ROI data: how much conversions are worth to your company’s bottom line.

Always Be Testing! (ABT)

In today’s ever-changing marketing landscape, it’s important to consistently evaluate the overall health and effectiveness of your campaigns. The search landscape is dynamic and constantly changing and so are your competitor’s tactics. Ad copy, average position, landing page and match type should be top of mind.

An effective search marketing strategy puts testing at the forefront. It forms the base for you to effectively develop an account over time. Don’t let your campaigns run stagnant over time. Test, analyze, optimize, repeat!

Thanks for reading my blog post on paid search best practices.

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